Lebanese Prime Minister resigns over political stalemate
Lebanon’s designated prime minister, Mustapha Adib, resigned today at a time of political stalemate over government formation, a month after he was appointed and the violent explosion in the port of Beirut.
Mustapha Adib formalized his decision after a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun.
This announcement shatters the diplomatic efforts made by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, to break the serious political impasse in the country, also hit by a severe financial crisis, which was aggravated by the explosion in early August in the port of Beirut.
Emmanuel Macron has been pressuring Lebanese politicians to negotiate a stable political solution so that they can enact urgent reforms.
But despite having French support, Mustapha Adib has been facing several obstacles on the national political scene, with the country’s main Shiite groups, Hezbollah and Amal, demanding to keep the Finance portfolio in the new government.
Hezbollah and Amal insist on appointing the new executive’s Shiite ministers, having condemned the executive’s training without his consultation.
In addition to this political stalemate, Lebanon is plunged into a serious economic crisis, said to be the worst in modern history in the country, as it failed to pay its foreign debt for the first time, has a local currency collapsing and witnesses rising inflation, poverty and unemployment.
The crisis was exacerbated by the August 4 explosion at the port of Beirut, caused by the detonation of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate.
The disaster wiped out the deaths of nearly 200 people, injured thousands more and led to losses worth billions of dollars.
Lebanon, formerly occupied by France, desperately needs financial assistance, but France and other international powers refuse to provide such support before structural reforms are carried out in the country, first of all due to systematic corruption and poor management.